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Abolition, Past and Present:
Scholars, Activists, and the Challenge of Contemporary Slavery

Gilder Lehrman Center's 14th Annual International Conference
November 8-10, 2012

Thursday, November 8, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street, Room 102
Friday and Saturday, November 9-10, Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut



In order to put past and present in lasting dialogue, this conference combines some of the world's most distinguished historians of slavery and abolition with many of the most important activist-leaders in the current movement to counteract and abolish modern forms of slavery. The gathering will be one effort toward forging a field of study about the origins and nature of current human trafficking and bonded labor systems in the world. By use of rich historical analogies, comparative perspectives, international contexts, and real world examples of intervention, we will explore and use the past in order to see deeper into the challenges faced by governments, non-governmental organizations, scholars, writers, and concerned citizens. We further hope to place the complex problem of contemporary slavery within the history of modern ideas and regimes of human rights. This is a conference where the worlds of scholarship and international activism meet, in similar and different ways to eighteenth and nineteenth century abolitionists, to curtail and ultimately rid the world of this ancient - and very current - problem of human exploitation.

Conference Participants





Illustration Credit: Picking Cotton, U.S. South, 1873-74; Image Reference NW0072, as shown on www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.
Photographic Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.


Sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. Co-sponsored by Alliance To End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST), A Project Of Humanity United.